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Trypsin-encoding PRSS1-PRSS2 variations influence the risk of asparaginase-associated pancreatitis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a Ponte di Legno toxicity working group report

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Asparaginase-associated pancreatitis is a life-threatening toxicity to childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment. To elucidate genetic predisposition and asparaginase-associated pancreatitis pathogenesis, ten trial groups contributed remission samples from patients aged 1.0-17.9 years treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia between 2000 and 2016. Cases (n=244) were defined by the presence of at least two of the following criteria: (i) abdominal pain; (ii) levels of pancreatic enzymes ≥3 × upper normal limit; and (iii) imaging compatible with pancreatitis. Controls (n=1320) completed intended asparaginase therapy, with 78% receiving ≥8 injections of pegylated-asparaginase, without developing asparaginase-associated pancreatitis. rs62228256 on 20q13.2 showed the strongest association with the development of asparaginase-associated pancreatitis (odds ratio=3.75; P=5.2×10 -8). Moreover, rs13228878 (OR=0.61; P=7.1×10 -6) and rs10273639 (OR=0.62; P=1.1×10 -5) on 7q34 showed significant association with the risk of asparaginase-associated pancreatitis. A Dana Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium cohort consisting of patients treated on protocols between 1987 and 2004 (controls=285, cases=33), and the Children's Oncology Group AALL0232 cohort (controls=2653, cases=76) were available as replication cohorts for the 20q13.2 and 7q34 variants, respectively. While rs62228256 was not validated as a risk factor ( P=0.77), both rs13228878 ( P=0.03) and rs10273639 ( P=0.04) were. rs13228878 and rs10273639 are in high linkage disequilibrium (r 2=0.94) and associated with elevated expression of the PRSS1 gene, which encodes for trypsinogen, and are known risk variants for alcohol-associated and sporadic pancreatitis in adults. Intra-pancreatic trypsinogen cleavage to proteolytic trypsin induces autodigestion and pancreatitis. In conclusion, this study finds a shared genetic predisposition between asparaginase-associated pancreatitis and non-asparaginase-associated pancreatitis, and targeting the trypsinogen activation pathway may enable identification of effective interventions for asparaginase-associated pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)556-563
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Copyright© 2019 Ferrata Storti Foundation.

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